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While some roads leading to Eagle Lake have reopened, 465 remains closed

With the backwater receding, Eagle Lake residents are starting to return to their properties and begun cleaning flood damage to their homes, Warren County Emergency Management director John Elfer said.

“Low Water Bridge and Goose Lake (roads) are open,” he said. “It cuts the drive time by about 20 minutes. It’s not a good road, but it’s open.”

Elfer said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency officials are still doing substantial damage assessments in the area, adding, “Hopefully they will be able to finish next week at Eagle Lake and then move on to Floweree Road and the other areas.”

Elfer said people who want to bring a camper to Eagle Lake to live in while they clean their property will have to get permits, adding water and electricity are available. No permit is required if a camper is parked at a property owner’s site and not used.

“We just want to continue to urge the folks up there doing cleanups to use caution and pay attention to the heat and the other hazards that exist, because we certainly don’t want anyone to get injured,” he said.

Elfer said there presently is no collection site for debris removed from homes; people living on county roads can put their debris on the county right of way and the county will pick it up.

While the receding water has opened Low Water Bridge and Goose Lake Road to traffic, Mississippi 465, the main route to Eagle Lake, remains closed while Mississippi Department of Transportation officials wait for water to drain from the section of 465 between the backwater levee and the Eagle Lake Gin.

“The water’s receded very well, but the water’s impounded on the south side of the road,” said Kevin Magee, MDOT Central District engineer. “That water got there because it over-topped the road and is having a slow time getting out of there. We’ve got some repairs to make in that area, but we can’t make them until the water recedes a little more,” he said.

Magee said MDOT has been able to make repairs in other areas of Mississippi 465, and the road is in good enough shape to open.

“We’ve got some repairs to do, but it can be done under traffic (with traffic on the road),” he said. “There’s not anything on that section that’s keeping us from opening up the road.”

But he said fixing the water-covered road is the critical project to get Mississippi 465 completely open.

He said the water in the affected area has dropped enough to let workers see the potential problems.

“I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on what the damages are, and we’ve not seen anything insurmountable; we’ve got some stuff we’ve got to do, but the water has to recede some more before we can do it,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of work this week, but the controlling factor, the critical path to getting this open, lies with that section between the backwater levee and the gin.”